The nightmare of bad collision repair is over for this lucky customer
We have all heard of car repair rip-offs and horror stories. It is why most people are suspicious of car dealers and auto repair shops to begin with. First of all, this is an area of expertise that most people have little knowledge of. Adding to this suspicion is the high price tag for services like auto body repair.
I have heard some strange repair shop horror stories in my time and I have heard of quite a few shady things done by auto repair shops.
One of our customers heard about an auto body shop rip off on their local Fox 45 news in Houston Texas and decided to do something about it; something positive and altruistic.
On the Fox 45 news report that aired July 1 2014, a woman named Cassandra Williams took her 2013 Dodge Charger into an auto body repair shop to fix some bumper damage and a cracked radiator that resulted from a collision with an Armadillo.
A job like this would take at the most, a week and typically only a day or two. However in this instance the shop Cassandra took her car to kept it there for over a month. That is bad enough, but the reason this is so news worthy is that during that time. Someone from the shop or the shop owner used the car for their own purposes all month. Cassandra knows this because she has an EZ tag for tollbooths on her windshield and the next month was billed for charges from daily use of her car on toll roads. Williams says, “I looked on my statement and noticed on December 2 of 2013 my vehicle was utilized for the entire month. I know I didn’t have it, it was at USA Collision.”
“I took my car to them four or five times radiator has been changed twice parts looking like they [used] used parts" says Williams.
Williams says, “I looked on my statement and noticed on December 2 of 2013 my vehicle was utilized for the entire month. I know I didn’t have it, it was at USA Collision.”
In the news report, the reporter went back and forth with USA Auto Body shop owner Mr. Gonzales and ultimately he said he wanted Williams to give him a call but he would not commit to repairing her vehicle or reimburse her for the toll charges on her car.
In the meantime, with a 2013 she can’t drive Williams is moving forward with filing criminal charges for unauthorized use of her vehicle by someone at the shop for the month it was in their possession.
Williams says, “I take it to you to do a professional job and you’re utilizing my vehicle and now it’s sitting up here.”
When Sam Bara, owner of Elite Collision in Houston Texas, saw this report, he decided to take swift and immediate action. Bara says he wanted to show that every auto shop is not bad.
The Houston businessman fixed Williams’ car, provided her with a free rental, and gave her a check to pay the toll charges someone at the other collision shop alleged racked up on her vehicle.
So some horror stories do have happy endings. With any service provider, it pays to check out their reputation, and do a little background research on your own. With the World Wide Web at your fingertips and tools like the autobody-review.com website, buyer beware is as simple a few clicks of the mouse.